Updated: May 17, 2019
Watching C. Ronaldo mature as a player under the direction of Sir Alex Ferguson was perhaps one of the most enjoyable processes I have every witnessed. From young brash kid (with flashy unnecessary moves) to mature footballer (who plays with purpose and directness)...we watched C. Ronaldo become the best in the world right before our eyes. When Marcus Rashford came on the scene I had similar feelings in my gut about this young footballer.
But as he has progressed/regressed, I find myself wondering if he can reach his full potential. He plays with speed and purpose...he scores goals (he has droughts), but at this point his lacks consistency. His progression has not been what Man United fans would have liked. Instead of a consistent uptick...we have seen him have an uptick followed by a down tick continuing much in this way. Just when you think he will turn the corner and score in bunches...he disappears for a bunch of games leaving one scratching their heads. The potential, the physical and mental aspects of his game are clearly there but will it manifest in becoming one of the great strikers in the world?
This of course is a tough question to answer because sometimes there are variables that are beyond the player that factor in to his progression. For example, C. Ronaldo had Alex Ferguson developing him. Sir Alex was one of the greatest developers of young talent ever to manage the game (Giggs, Beckham, Ronaldo). Rashford was stuck with Mourinho who is known for NOT developing talent (in my opinion), rather he had few players on his sides that he simply could not develop to their full potential,.....that went on to develop elsewhere into world-class footballers. The two most identifiable footballers who played under Mourinho that he could NOT develop were Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah. No one can argue the quality of these players.
So with Mourinho gone and a former striker in Ole Gunnar at the helm what (if anything) can hold Rashford back from reaching his full potential? It is important to note that at a certain point it is and will be incumbent upon the player himself to take personal responsibility for his own development. That said, Man U fans can only hope that Rashford fulfills his potential and becomes another in the long line of historically great Manchester United strikers.
Additionally, the culture of this once great club is in a down cycle currently. This summer hopes to be a rebuilding cycle to replenish the talent pool. Frankly the current crop of players are not cutting it and have proven to be stuck in mediocrity. For Rashford to reach his true potential he MUST have players around him that can lift the club to the greatness it once knew. The entire team needs to be revamped at this point...but questions still remain about Rashford himself. If Man United figures out how to bring great footballers in again and Rashford remains....there will be no more excuses and the only questions we would ask is.....Is Rashford the world's next great striker?